The win improves KU’s overall record to 13-6 this season, while Austin Peay drops to 5-3 with the loss.
The Jayhawks scored the game’s opening run for the first time in their last four contests as they plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Junior left fielder Matt Baty led off the game with a sharp single to left field and was followed on base by junior first baseman Jared Schweitzer, who drew a walk to give KU runners at first and second with no outs. Junior shortstop Ritchie Price drove in Baty to tally his 14th RBI of the season with a single into left field in the next at bat. After junior Gus Milner was hit with a pitch to load the bases, senior catcher Sean Richardson delivered a single to plate Schweitzer. Kansas scored its third run of the inning when Ritchie Price was able to score from third as junior outfielder A.J. Van Slyke grounded into a double play.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Governors were finally able to break through against Kansas starter Sean Land. Land induced a groundout from the inning’s first batter to retire his 14th consecutive hitter since the first inning, however APSU recovered to collected five hits in the inning and push across three runs to knot the game at 3-3.
Land (2-1) finished the game with 6 2/3 innings pitched and allowed four earned runs on seven hits to earn his second win of the season.
Kansas responded in the home half of the sixth, collecting four hits in the inning to plate a pair of runs and retake the lead at 5-3. With one out, Van Slyke singled to give KU its first base runner of the inning. Following a pop out by senior designated hitter Jake Kauzlarich, freshman second baseman Ryne Price singled to put runners on the corners for freshman third baseman Erik Morrison. Morrison responded with a two-out RBI single and in the next at bat Baty doubled to right field to plate Ryne Price and give the Jayhawks the 5-3 advantage.
APSU plated a run in the top of the seventh inning on an RBI single by left fielder Will Hogue to close the gap to 5-4.
Junior closer Don Czyz replaced Land in the seventh inning and pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to collected his second save of the season.
KU’s offense broke out in the bottom of the eighth inning to score six runs and open an 11-4 lead. Van Slyke connected on his third home run of the season in the frame, while Richardson and Ritchie Price added RBI hits in the inning for KU.
The Jayhawks will take on tournament host No. 17 Mississippi State in the second game of Saturday’s twin bill. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. The NBC Classic concludes on Sunday with KU and MSU meeting in a Noon match-up.
Story courtesy: KUAC